By the end of 2015 there will be more than 7 billion registered mobile phone users around the world. That’s one for every man, woman and child on the planet. Everywhere.
The internet of things is expected to reach 100 billion networked sensors and devices by 2025 – which equates to 47 million devices being connected every day. Two million per hour; 33,333 per minute; 555 per second. If each of those was an audible click, you’d hear it as a whistle. (It’s C#, if you were wondering.)
If humankind is at the core of technology, the smartphone is an extension of that core – and touch is at the centre of that connection.
That’s Huawei’s take on it, anyway. And that’s why it’s placed touch at the centre of its design philosophy in the new flagship Mate S smartphone.
It’s a curved-back, all-metal unibody design – dual diamond-cut for a sleek but comfortable feel – with a 5.5in, 2.5D curved fourth-fen Gorilla Glass screen. A screen that, when you give it a fondle, gives up a few surprises.
The first is visual: it packs 401ppi into its area, boasts 105% colour saturation and a 1.8million-to-one contrast ratio. The second is tactile: selected models are kitted out with pressure-sensitive Force Touch tech. That means you can press the screen harder to zoom in on photos, launch apps… even weigh stuff.
The touchy-feely stuff doesn’t end there, either. Flip the phone over and, under the camera, sits a fingerprint sensor. There’s more to it than security, too – you can unlock your phone with it, of course, but you can also use it to launch notifications, swipe through gallery photos, answer calls and more.
You can do more than just prod and swipe, though – Knuckle Sense 2.0 tech lets you knock and draw on the screen with your knuckles to capture long, tall photos, crop, and even launch apps by drawing letters on the screen.
Elsewhere, snappers are well catered for with the 13-megapixel camera. It has a four-colour, RGBW sensor, 1.2-degree optical image stabilisation, a DSLR-level independent image signal processor, and more modes than you can shake a stick at. (Including three for black-and-white photography, and an enhanced beauty setting – with softened front lighting – for selfies taken with the 8MP front-facing camera.)
There are three microphones on board, which work with a directional algorithm to record sound from the direction you want to capture it, while filtering out noises from directions you don’t. Three modes of that: one for meetings, one for one-to-one chats, and one for normal omnidirectional audio capture.
And when you add the other little thoughtful features, like water resistance, auto-rectangular alignment for pictures, ultra-fast charging and the included smart case, it’s clear that the Mate S is more than just a regular smartphone.